Photo by Don Milici
Oxy Fifty Year Club attendees in June 2023.

A recent alumni attitude survey reveals what matters to Tigers most

As part of The Oxy Campaign For Good, one key initiative that was not measured in dollars was “Tiger Connections”—a metric that includes alumni gatherings on campus, online, or elsewhere; mentoring a student; or volunteering in an affinity or leadership group. (Class notes—a vital component of the magazine and the Oxy community—also counted toward that total.) Over the last seven years, we tallied 261,171 connections—roughly 10 engagements per alum.

Not every Tiger is looking for the same kind of engagement. And in an effort to better understand your perspectives and attitudes about Oxy, we conducted our second alumni attitude survey in the last four years. The survey (conducted late last year) showed Occidental alumni were most likely to say that: Oxy graduates are likely to be successful in their career; the current faculty is excellent; they understand how alumni giving furthers the College’s mission; and the leadership of Oxy is committed to the College’s vision and mission.

The majority of respondents have a positive opinion of Occidental. In fact, 94% of respondents rate their choosing to attend Oxy as a “good” to “great” decision. In addition, 66% of respondents describe their experience as an alum as “good” to “excellent.” Approximately 94% of respondents describe their overall current opinion of Occidental as “good” to “excellent.”

What else did we learn? Alumni believe strongly that their Oxy education prepared them most for “commitment to continuous education” and “further graduate education.”

Alumni are focused on how their degree helped them in their lives and how the degree enhances their career. They also want to know that the Alumni Association is playing an important role in improving the student experience. Conversely, Oxy students seeing alumni making a difference in their college experience helps lay a foundation of lifelong support.

Events offer an interesting opportunity for the College. If alumni attend events, there is a greater likelihood that their overall engagement will increase, which often leads to philanthropic support as well. Even those alumni who never attend an event—and we encourage you to join us!—believe that there is an intrinsic value to these activities and knowing that their alma mater is vibrant.

If you were among those alumni who responded to our survey, again, we thank you. If not, we want to hear from you—and hope to see you engaging with Oxy in the coming year. Io Triumphe!

Brenda Barham Hill ’71 P’03
President, Board of Governors

Alumni Attitude Survey: Highlights by Generations

While Oxy pride remains strong across the decades, what matters to alumni most? The answer varies by generation. Here’s a sampling:

1974-1980 Value, respect, history, and tradition have a significant impact on their opinion of Oxy

1981-1993 Think Oxy did a good job preparing them for further education and career opportunities

1994-2000 Believe it is important for alumni to provide job opportunities for new students

2001-2008 Want to get together with other alumni to learn more about financial planning, parenting, etc.

2009-2014 Want to network with other alumni in their area

2015-2019 Want to know more about how current students are developing skills and training and how alumni can help identify jobs for graduates

2020-2022 Want networking opportunities with other alumni and more information about Oxy’s diversity and inclusion initiatives

Survey results based on 1,122 responses from alumni in 48 states representing the classes of 1950 to 2022. Among all respondents, 45% identified as male and 55% identified as female.